GDC 09: Havok Changes Gaming Landscape With New Middleware SDK – Havok AI

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Havok, the premier provider of interactive software and services to digital creators in the games and movie industries, today unveils the newest addition to the company’s growing product portfolio - Havok AI. On display in Havok’s booth (Exposuite #154) at the Game Developers Conference, Havok AI provides developers with unique solutions to perform pathfinding and advanced character interaction in highly dynamic game environments.

In game development, pathfinding is a technology used to allow game characters to navigate through their environment. As today’s games become more complex and dynamic, finding plausible solutions to pathfinding is increasingly difficult, time-consuming and costly.

Now available, Havok AI meets the pathfinding challenge with its new platform-optimized SDK that features:

  • A highly optimized and robust automatic nav mesh generator. Optimal nav meshes are generated in seconds from complex game levels of hundreds of thousands of triangles allowing for rapid iteration on level content.
  • Fully integrated dynamic pathfinding. As opposed to being a static pathfinding solution with an additional layered dynamic avoidance technology, Havok AI is built from the ground up to work with dynamic environments. Its unique, innovative solution handles thousands of moving obstacles in real-time with high fidelity.
  • Fully extensible and customizable pathfinding solution. The product includes a hierarchical pathfinder which is multithreaded and platform optimized for all of the key gaming platforms.
  • Advanced predictive local steering module that complements the dynamic pathfinding capabilities. Characters predict the movement of obstacles and adapt accordingly, moving plausibly through the complex and often congested situations that arise when environments become dynamic.
  • Out-of-the-box integration with Havok Physics™, Havok Destruction™, Havok Animation™, and Havok Behavior™

“With the addition of Havok AI, the company continues to expand its broad product portfolio,” said David O’Meara, Managing Director of Havok. “As the solutions provider of choice for the game development industry featured in over 200 games to date, Havok continues to engineer new software and tools that address key challenges currently unmet in the gaming industry, making Havok the ultimate one-stop shop for development.”

David Coghlan, Vice President of Development for Havok said, “Havok has an unparalleled reputation for delivering robust, optimized, cross-platform solutions to our customers, and Havok AI represents a natural extension of our portfolio of run-time technologies. It provides a focused set of services and technologies that help enable plausible, engaging and creative in-game characters as well as delivering significant productivity gains during production.”

Havok AI is architected from the ground up to deal with the sheer scale of characters and dynamics of cutting-edge games of today and tomorrow. By using Havok AI, developers will dramatically improve the performance of their AI runtime systems and save significant time in production and development, driving down costs while helping developers raise the bar for their gaming audience.

Havok AI is available as part of Havok 6.5, which includes Havok’s highly-acclaimed and industry-dominant software products and tools. Havok technology can now be found in over 200 games worldwide, with 75 additional releases slated for 2009. All Havok tools dramatically accelerate the development of cross-platform, innovative electronic games and special effects for film, in-line with the requirements of the world’s top developers and producers. For more information about Havok and Havok AI, please visit the company web site at

In : PC

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